Below are some of the common mistakes we make after exercise, and tips to remember to make sure that you get the most out of your workout.
- Waiting too long to eat. After exercise, the body is depleted of energy and needs food to rebuild muscle. The higher your muscle mass, the faster your metabolism, so make sure you eat within 30 minutes of exercising.
- Protein overload. Protein aids in post workout recovery and in rebuilding torn muscle fibres; however, your body has a limit on how much it can use for this process. Heading straight for the smoothie bar may seem like a safe option but these nutritious drinks often don’t have the correct balance of protein and can also contain more calories than you think. Always balance protein out with complex carbohydrates like whole wheat pasta or brown rice after your workout.
- Calorie-packed foods. Eating a calorie-packed meal after exercise and thinking that the calories will be cancelled out by the ones you just burnt off is a dangerous game. We often overestimate how many calories we have burnt off in a workout.
- Sugary, caffeinated snacks. Sugar can combat fatigue but a severe energy lull is sure to follow. Choose a nutritious snack instead, like the low-GI recipe below.
- Celebrating at the bar. We all feel the inclination to reward ourselves when we have worked hard but alcohol is not the right kind of reward for a good workout. Alcohol dehydrates the body and prevents protein synthesis in the muscles, leaving torn muscles unable to recover.
- Skipping the stretching. Stretching helps prevent injuries that could hinder your weight loss goals by deterring you from doing exercise. Always make time for stretching after any exercise.